Radiesse Side Effects

What are some complications that could arise after a Radiesse procedure? Are there specific areas where it shouldn't be used?

Doctor Answers (34)

Radiesse complications

+6

Radiesse should be avoided in the lips. They can form lumps and are difficult to treat. Most complications of Radiesse are due to lumps or irregularities from over injection. Some people can get granulomas or even infections. But this can happen with other fillers. Local bruising and swelling can occur too.


Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Radiesse hurts, but no pain, no gain.

+6

Radiesse is a synthetic calcium hydroxyapatite filler. Calcium hydroxyapatite is the stuff that makes up your bone. The Radiesse people have made a synthetic version of this compound that is injected as a gel. The gel is great as a filler for deeper folds and wrinkles. It is great for the nasolabial folds, grooves under your eyes and any larger volume loss on your face. It lasts for about one year, although Bioform would like you to believe it lasts longer than that. One of the wonderful things about Radiesse is that it expends when injected and takes up more space than the other fillers. For example, to fill in a single area, studies have shown that 1.2cc of Radiesse will fill the same amount as 2.4 cc of collagen.
As for the adverse effects;
It is more painful than other fillers, so you need to have nerve blocks to alleviate the pain. It also may have more swelling and bruising than other fillers.
Most importantly, if it is injected into the lips, you can experience nodule or cyst formation in the lips. This adverse effect is not found when it is injected into other areas of the face.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Radiesse Side Effects

+5

We love Radiesse for volumizing cheeks and nasolabial folds. It is a wonderful product and produces great results. It is a synthetic substance made of calcium hydroxyapatite (which is found in bone) and a gel vehicle that is used to fill in deep furrows and to plump the cheeks (giving you a new refreshed look).  When the substance is injected it expands and over time your skin naturally builds up collagen. Any injections can be uncomfortable but they are definitely tolerable. With any injection into the skin, one runs the risk of bruising and swelling. In fact, you do tend to experience more swelling with this product  but this is completely normal. The swelling will subside in a few days. To minimize bruising in these procedures, we recommend to discontinue any anticoagulants that are NOT being used for any specific medical purpose  (IMPT: and this needs to be discussed with your medical physician prior to stopping any meds for injections)  and to discontinue certain vitamins such as Omega 3 fatty acids and Vit. E as these can also increase your risk of bleeding. I do not recommend to use this product in the lips or too superficially as you can develop nodules and may see the product through the skin. I recommend it mostly for cheeks and nasolabial folds. Hope this helps. 

Stacy Chimento, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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Radiesse Side Effects

+4
All fillers have potential side effects, and these can be best minimized (although never eliminated) by making sure you are being treated at an office of a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Radiesse is a deep volumizing filler and needs to be injected by skilled injectors. It works really well in the cheeks and hands — hand rejuvenation is an underserved market and population, but Radiesse in this area is great.

Radiesse is not mixed with lidocaine, but it IS FDA cleared to mix with lidocaine to reduce any potential discomfort. So if someone says it hurts, they may not know how to properly inject it or they may not be mixing it with lidocaine — standard among advanced injectors in 2014. The main adverse event that has been reported in VERY rare cases is malar area edema — where there is swelling in the cheeks because the Radiesse is placed too high in the skin — again avoided by experienced injectors. Radiesse is not to be injected into the lips as well.
In the right hands, Radiesse may last longer than conventional hyaluronic acid fillers — so this may be right for you.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Swelling and bruising and improper placement.

+4

Skimomma,

This is a good question. Many patient have products injected into them, but have no idea what they are getting into. There are many great products, including Radiesse. However, it is great that you are seeking out this information so that you will be an informed patient.

All fillers are injected through the skin with hypodermic needles. So, there is risk of bruising from puncturing microscopic capillary arteries in the dermis. Some products are anticoagulant in nature (such as the protein in Evolence) and other are pro-coagulant. Radiesse seems to have more bruising than some other products. It can, however, be mixed with other solutions which help reduce the bruising.

All fillers also induce swelling. This is a factor of the hydrophilicity of the product (attraction to water) and the trauma caused by the injection. All products have these properties to some extent. Radiesse seems to have a bit more swelling than other products.

All fillers are not made to be injected in the same place. Different fillers are ideal for different parts of the face. For instance, Radiesse is excellent for the cheeks and the nasolabial crease. Juvederm, Restylane, Prevelle and Evolence are great for the nasolabial crease, lips and perioral areas.

However, all fillers are technique-dependent and it is important that your injector have the skill and experience to inject the products properly and into the correct skin level.

I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Radiesse is a stimulatory facial filler for nasolabial folds

+3

Radiesse is a stimulatory filler that acts, in part, to stimulate your body to make collagen. All facial fillers, regardless of type, have risks including bruising, bleeding, needle puncture irritation, and host response. Radiesse has a high safety profile and can be used on the nasolabial folds with high efficacy. It should not be used on the lips.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Potential complications of Radiesse

+2

I have found Radiesse to be an excellent product for enhancing and augmenting the cheekbones, with very low risk of complications.  It can also be injected into the nasolabial folds in certain candidates.

Complications, when they occur, include swelling, bruising, and even lumps around the injected site and are most likely to be apparent in areas of very thin skin.  For this reason, I avoid injecting Radiesse into the tear troughs and the lips, where any injected product will potentially be more visible.  

All injectable fillers require skill and experience to master the injection process and to discern what parts of the face will benefit from each particular product.  For this reason, in my practice I choose to personally perform all injections, rather than delegating this task to a staff member.

David H. Harley, MD
Asheville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Where Should Radiesse NOT be Used?

+2

Hi skimomma.  We have found Radiesse easy to use and have had no serious complications with it.  One of the reasons for this is that we stay away from two areas that are problematic for Radiesse.  Because of the consistency of the product (it is a thicker gel than Radiesse of Restylane), we do not use the product under the eyes or in the lips.

The most likely side effect are swelling, bruising or redness.  Swelling is most common for our practice.  In addition, it is possible to develop deeper bumps in the skin but if this does happen steroid injections can often help to reduce or remove these bumps.  Choose a practitioner that uses Radiesse conservatively and you should do very well.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Risks of Radiesse

+2

Radiesse has a relatively good safety profile. The consistency is firmer than the hyaluronics and that gives rise to some of the advantages and disadvantages. Because the product is firm, placement in the lips can result in palpable and visible nodules. It can be associated with granuloma formation creating secondary nodules. However, its firmness is an advantage in non-surgical cheek or jaw enhancements as well as any other procedure that requires firmness or structural support. Other generalized risks include: infection, bleeding , bruising, palpablility, visibility, pain, numbess, prolonged redness, inflammation,

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Radiesse or Radiance, stay away! Go With Juvederm for wrinkle removal

+2

Radiesse, first called Radiance, received FDA clearance for the soft tissue of the vocal cords and for urinary incontinence originally. It is derived from calcium hydroxyl appetite, a component of bone. Many patients have reported lumps, bumps, migration and deformities with this product. The result is not permanent, but generally very long lasting.

This product seems to have fallen out of favor but was very popular with the media for a period of time. I am proud to say I have never injected anyone with Radiance or Radiesse. Hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm, Restylane, or Prevelle Silk would be a far better option in my opinion.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.